The role of EU in the management of humanitarian crises in Africa: a critical analysis of the situation of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

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Ngueuleu Djeuga, Isidore Collins
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Following its ambition to become a major actor in the international security and peacebuilding, the European Union has developed in Africa a strong and comprehensive framework for humanitarian crisis management. Taking DRC as the first case of experimentation, EU and its member states have taken the necessary steps to implement the new humanitarianism consisting in managing a crisis by taking in account both humanitarian needs and crisis management and peacebuilding activities. This has led to a strong humanitarian commitment through ECHO, two military interventions and two civilian crisis management missions, in addition to member states bilateral cooperation. But this strong involvement making EU and member states the first donor of DRC is weaken by a lack of coordination stemming from the difficult dialogue between the community pillar and the common and foreign policy pillar, but also by different views between the European Commission and the European Council. This has led us to two main conclusions. First the action of EU is weakened because of a lack of coordination within EU and between EU and other actors. This can explain the incoherence between EU actions and the need on the field or the different views and priorities between EU and the member states. Second EU actions are weakened because of bad monitoring of the measures taken to tackle the root causes of the humanitarian situation such as embargo on arms, judicial initiatives. But also lack of proactive measures such as binding mechanisms to prevent Human Rights violations by European multinationals involved in illicit mining trade in the East and to hold them accountable in case of violation. This study tries to understand through DRC the role of EU as an international actor in humanitarian crisis management in Africa.
Second semester University: University of Deusto, Bilbao
humanitarian assistance, Africa, Congo, humanitarian intervention, European Union